Breastfeeding might be the natural way, but that doesn’t mean it’s always easy!
We’ve all heard of the benefits: Breastfeeding exclusively for six months is invaluable for the health of you and your baby. But there is a list of different overwhelming issues that moms have to face once they have their new infant at home.
One of the most common issues that new moms come to our Jacksonville office for is tongue and lip-tie
This condition can interfere with the natural breastfeeding relationship, causing nipple pain and damage, slow weight gain, and lots of feeding frustration. Ties can also affect swallowing, reflux, feeding, and speech. So today, we want to go over what tongue tie is and how we might be able to help.
What is tongue-tie or lip-tie?
Tongue-tie is the condition where someone is born with either a shorter, thicker or tighter band of tissue connecting the bottom of their tongue to the floor of their mouth. As a result, baby’s born with this can experience limited movement of the tongue which can have serious implications for eating, speaking, and swallowing behaviors.
Some signs of tongue-tie or lip-tie in infants:
- History of poor suck
- Shallow latch
- Clicking sounds
- Ineffective milk transfer
- Poor weight gain or weight loss
- Gas or reflux
- Fussiness at the breast or arching away
- Frequent sliding off the breast
- Coughing or choking while feeding
- Spilling milk from sides of mouth
- Poor tongue movement
Consequences of tongue-tie or lip-tie
- Difficulty breastfeeding due to tongue positioning: This can lead to chewing instead of sucking on the nipple which will impact how much breast milk flows to the baby while also inflicting significant pain on their mothers.
- Tongue-tie/ lip-tie can lead to difficulty pronouncing sounds and speech impediments.
- Sometimes, tongue and lip-tie can increase a person’s chances of gum disease and other serious medical conditions of the mouth because tongue-tie makes it more difficult for babies and children to clean food debris from their teeth, thus increasing the rate at which bacteria will build up in their mouth.
Can chiropractic help infant tongue-tie/lip-tie?
*Tongue-tie and/or lip-tie needs to be diagnosed by a pediatrician, dentist, or lactation specialist. If you’re local to Jacksonville, see who we recommend here.
Then, we will take an assessment that we will do to figure out how best to approach your baby’s condition. The steps we take are:
- Assess the baby and determine the extent of the tongue or lip tie
- Perform exercises that encourage mobility of the lips and tongue
- Check the upper cervical spine for misalignment that would affect feeding and function in the head and neck
- Evaluate cranial bone structure and mobility and realign
This helps us to non-surgically address the tongue-tie issue by facilitating correct positioning. When your baby’s head is positioned optimally, it will encourage them to latch as intended.
With this procedure, our practice members have seen incredible results in their breastfeeding problems.
Support for babies with tongue-tie and/or lip-tie
- Identify a pediatrician who specializes in caring for infants with effective measures for tongue tie release is vital. If you’re local to Jacksonville Florida- we recommend:
- Find a lactation consultant in your area to help you in your journey.
- Finally, a pediatric chiropractor who can evaluate and treat baby using the steps mentioned above will be vital in this process.
See our list of recommended providers in the Jacksonville area!
We understand that there are cases where breastfeeding isn’t possible or is limited and please understand this: Any amount of breastfeeding brings vital health benefits to your baby. And, while experts strongly encourage breastfeeding, at the same time, new moms shouldn’t be stressed out in order to meet this goal. Don’t feel bad if you need to supplement with formula or stop nursing.
If you need additional support in your breastfeeding journey
- Setup an assessment with us here or by calling (904) 348-0039
- Ask for help- Join our free support groups for moms here
- Watch the lactation workshop below where we answer questions about:
- Cluster feeding
- Sleep schedules
- Latching issues
- Is baby eating enough
- Tips for pumping
- And more